1st Edition

Loneliness and Longing Conscious and Unconscious Aspects

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    We all experience loneliness at some time in our lives and it often motivates people, consciously or otherwise, to enter treatment. Yet it is rarely explicitly addressed in psychoanalytic literature. Loneliness and Longing rectifies this oversight by thoroughly exploring this painful psychological state.

    In this book contributors address the inner sense of loneliness – that is feeling alone even in the company of others – by drawing on different aspects of loneliness and longing. Topics covered include:

    • loneliness in the consulting room
    • the relationship between loneliness and love
    • the effects of social networking and the internet
    • how loneliness changes throughout the life-cycle
    • healing the analyst’s loneliness.

    Loneliness and Longing draws on both theory and practice to discuss ways to help people to understand and cope with this important emotional state, encouraging them to make loneliness and longing less pervasive in their lives. This will be ideal reading for analysts, psychotherapists, and related practitioners facing the challenges of loneliness in their consulting rooms.

    Bohm, Introduction. Part I: Loneliness in Life and in Treatment: Psychoanalytic and Existential Perspectives. Buechler, Someone to Watch Over Me. Frie, The Lived Experience of Loneliness: An Existential-Phenomenological Perspective. Part II: New Forms of Loneliness in Cyberspace. Eisold, Loneliness and Love-making On-line. O'Leary, Less Lonely in A Second life? A Psychologist goes Under Cover in Virtual Reality. Lombardi, Internal Space and (Dis)Connection in Cyberspace: Adolescent Longings in a Pseudo-Connected Society. Part III: Yearning and its Vicissitudes. Simha-Alpern, "I Hate to Choose…You Choose": On Inhibition of Longing and Desire. Kramer Richards, Spira, Proust and the Lonely Pleasure of Longing. Hartman, Twins in Fantasy: Love and Loneliness. Part IV: Loneliness Through the Life Cycle. Tedeschi, Silence the Grinch: The Loneliness of a Boy who Yearned to Hear his Father's Voice. Ostrov Weisser, Loneliness, Emptiness, and Wordsworth's "Bliss of Solitude" in Life and Literature. Lavender, The Phenomenology of the Relational Void: Probabilities and Possibilities. Cresci, Challenges of Aging: The Impact of Loneliness. Part V: Treating the Difficult Lonely Patient. Taylor, Loneliness in the Disaffected (Alexithymic) Patient. Sapountzis, "Tell Me How to Bear Myself": On Borderline Desire, Emptiness, and Evocative Dreaming. Part VI: Healing the Traumatized Analyst’s Loneliness. Kaufmann, In the Shadow of Suicide. Herzog, The Loneliness of the Traumatized Analyst and the Self-righting Function of His Private Practice. Sloane, The Loneliness of the Analyst and its Alleviation through Faith in "O". Part VII: Loneliness and Yearnings in the Sociocultural Surround. Caspary, Yearning and Loss in No Country for Old Men. Classen, A Dialogue Between Psychoanalysis and Religion Regarding Loneliness and Yearning. O’Loughlin, Trauma Trails from Ireland's Great Hunger: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry. Part VIII: Yearning for Non-human Connections. Allured, Lonely for the Other Mother: Nature and the Relational Fourth. Seiden, On the Longing for Home. Part IX: Expanding our Theories to Understand and Treat Loneliness and Yearnings. Eisold, The Threat of Exile – and Abandonment. Willock, Loneliness, Longing, and Limiting Theoretical Frameworks. Part X: Reflections. Curtis, Looking Back on Loneliness and Longing. Willock, Loneliness and Longing: Crucial Aspects of the Human Experience.


    Brent Willock is President of the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, a Board member of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program and a faculty member of the Institute for the Advancement of Self Psychology.

    Lori C. Bohm is a Supervising Analyst, faculty member, and Director at the Center for Applied Psychoanalysis and Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program at the William Alanson White Institute.

    Rebecca Coleman Curtis is a member of the faculty and Supervisor at William Alanson White Institute, Supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University.


    "A fascinating, original contribution to a neglected area in the psychoanalytic literature, with wide and deep ramifications. As a psychoanalytic treatment of an everyday human experience, it represents a genre of which I would like to see more. Psychoanalysis can only benefit by leaving the ivory tower of metapsychology and descending into the hurly burly of quotidian life in a way which enriches our understanding of familiar human dilemmas." Karl Loszak, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice, Toronto, Canada

    "It is impossible to do justice to the book's riches in a brief review... Psychotherapy and counselling can be lonely activities but, through reading this book, I feel less lonely and more connected to a community oflike-minded colleagues. The book is a valuable resource for psychodynamic practitioners, those who include psychodynamic elements within their integration, and all those  interested in a relational way of working and who are not afraid to go into the depths both of their own and their clients' experience. I will return to this book again and again." - Els van Ooijen, Therapy Today, April 2012